Blog – Should Fans Trust Gus As Borini Saga Drags On?

This Fabio Borini carry on, eh?


When BBC’s Nick Barnes asked Gus Poyet about Fabio Borini – again – yesterday, there was a clear tone of defiance in the Uruguayan’s claim that he isn’t disinterested in a move to the Stadium Of Light. The opposite was very much implied, in fact. While many have made the assumption that Lee Congerton and the gaffer have somehow failed to gauge the player’s interest in the move before failing to organise some sort of piss up in a brewery, it defies belief that things would have come this far without indication that the player wants to come.


Yet I still sense many are suggesting we ditch the whole thing and move on.


Respected North East hack George Caulkin is implying the club are ready to move on also. Like Gus, I’d wait. If we miss out on him and back it up with a late loan signing, it’s a gamble I’d take.


Yep, I must admit, I’m with Gus on this one.


While the transfer of Shane Long from Hull to Southampton appears to have offered fresh perspective in the eyes of many regarding the transfer fee, there’s still this general consensus that we should suddenly abandon our quest to bring the Italian back to Wearside. I can’t help thinking some can’t see the woods for the trees here.


Gus Poyet keeps emphasising just how much he wanted the transfer to happen when speaking to anybody who asks him at present. And while I’ve read many a tweet and heard many opinions referencing this ‘saga’ as a black mark on Lee Congerton’s effort in the transfer window thus far, the gaffer’s determination to see it through should highlight the inaccuracy of that assumption – this is his man and any hold up is surely down to something beyond the sporting director’s control.


It also highlights the importance of finding a player who fits like a glove into your system. Let’s not forget that it didn’t click instantly him, it took a stop-start three months before he perfected the timing of those runs from that front left position.


Oh, the timings of those runs. It was a sheer delight watching them, and in a side not flooded with creativity, it really can’t be understated how important they are. Without an outstanding creator, Sunderland will have to get used to keeping the ball and wait for an opening. More often than not, that will come courtesy of a run from a front player.


My favourite goal of last season was Borini’s goal at home to West Brom, latching onto that audacious Seb Larsson chip, but the watered down version of it was just as relevant. Because if that goal was the obvious Hollywood version, his goal to pull us back into the league game at home to Southampton was the critically acclaimed low budget version. With seemingly nothing on, a seemingly hopeful cross from Adam Johnson was read by the Italian and dispatched into the corner. Yes, let’s not forget his finishing too, or his willingness to track back and work hard.


At what risk do we search for an alternative for a couple of million cheaper? In a side that can’t afford to be goal shy, it seems bizarre to me to even contemplate it.


People can’t allow the desire for immediacy in the transfer window to cloud their judgement on this one. I fully understand that when following football it’s very easy for people to use hindsight as the base of their arguments all too frequently. It’s easy to forget that we watch football very much in the here and now. I wince at the memory of the regular uncomfortableness of watching Martin O’Neill’s football on a game to game basis. It’s a swift reminder how it can be difficult to break out of this mode. When you live and breathe your club on a daily basis, thinking rationally and projecting the big picture can be genuinely tricky.


Yet even if Poyet is wrong and Caulkin is right and Borini is dragging his heels over a move, it would make me want him more. He clearly feels he should be playing at the top. That self-confidence makes him the player he is, and lord do we need more of those characters around. It’s been said the former Roma man was last off the training ground last season and these are the personalities we need at the club.


Add that to Jack Rodwell’s desire to force his way into the England squad and we can claim to be finally thinking our transfer policy through more than ever before. It’s all well and good signing players who want to “put a shift in” (to paraphrase one of our more one dimensional former managers) but if it dilutes the quality of the squad player then you’re no further forward. Bringing in two internationals that are desperate to return to the top is quite the coup for us, if we’re prepared to accept our place in the current food chain.


Gus said yesterday, “Trust me”. Rightly or wrongly, I’ll be doing just that.


Stephen Goldsmith